Gio Reyna: “I wasn’t too nervous to be honest, but I was just happy. I’m sure it’s a moment I’m remember forever.” (Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports)
By Michael Lewis
The U.S.’s scoreless draw with Wales Thursday was another milestone in the life of 17-year-old Gio Reyna.
He has begun to pile up many firsts records – for club (Borussia Dortmund) and country (U.S. men’s national team) and the international friendly at Liberty Stadium certainly was just going to be another in a long line.
Head coach Gregg Berhalter liked what he saw of the teenage midfielder.
“Gio showed the real quality at times, he really did,” he said. “It was the fluidity on the ball, getting in good positions that hurt the defense. His defending I thought was, was a good start a good starting point. Overall, a 17-year-old debuting and he didn’t look like that. So I think from that standpoint it was solid.”
Reyna? He didn’t seem as impressed, although he was “happy” he made his debut.
“I was really happy,” he said during a post-match ZOOM call with the media. “I wasn’t too nervous to be honest, but I was just happy. I’m sure it’s a moment I’m remember forever.”
Reyna, the son of two former U.S. internationals, Claudio and Danielle Reyna, became the 12th player under the age of 18 to make his debut with the USMNT. He reached that milestone just in time because he turns 18 Friday.
When asked what he thought of the USA’s performance, Reyna replied, “I think it’s hard to say right now. We’re only stopped around an hour ago I think for only being together for around three days. A lot of debuts obviously positive and some good things. Of course, there’s room for improvement. I think this one was just kind of a tough game and feeling it out a little bit.”
He said Berhalter did not say much to him before or after the match.
“He just said, ‘Debut, do your thing and have fun and enjoy it,’ ” he said. “After we haven’t really spoke much. We just had dinner and relaxed a little bit but yeah I’m sure we’ll look over a few things as a team and individually, too.”